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Natural Gas Burns Brightly In Stocks

Natural gas and the United States Natural Gas Fund, LP (NYSE:UNG) have been one of the few positives in an overall ugly market that cannot seem to get away from a crashing Euro, global double dip fears and a Gulf of Mexico oil spill that shows no end in sight.  Natural gas has been dropping for the better part of two years.  The top was hit in mid 2008 and since then it has fallen off a cliff and never recovered.  Oil topped out at the same time, but made a bottom in March 2009 and has rallied at times 100% off those lows.  Natural gas never saw any significant rally.

This may be the time for natural gas to burn brightly.  As the oil spill has filled the news and the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama has endorsed natural gas. A hot summer in the northeast has also kept demand strong as inventories showed yesterday.  A depressed natural gas price means it is cheap compared to its counter part in oil.  With public sentiment shifting from oil to cleaner fuels, natural gas may be just starting its upward trend.

While natural gas may be a story for the months to come, many key natural gas stocks have already run significantly.  As a Chief Market Strategist, I would shy away from paying up for them in this type of market.  Let them come back down and settle.  Once that happens, they may be a great buying opportunity.  Look at Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) and Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN).  In addition, I think it is wise to watch Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) as they bought XTO Energy, a natural gas player not long ago.

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Gareth Soloway
Chief Market Strategist